Steamboat Mountain Film Festival continues Friday with ‘Into the Mind,’ ‘McConkey’ | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Mountain Film Festival continues Friday with ‘Into the Mind,’ ‘McConkey’

Inaugural Snowmobile Film Festival on tap

The movies aren’t limited to skiers and snowboarders this year.

For the first time, the Chief Theater will host the Steamboat Snowmobile Film Festival on Saturday. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the festival features four top snowmobile films.

Tickets are $20 at All That Jazz, Steamboat PowerSports and Extreme Powersports or $25 at the door. There also will be food, prizes, raffles and a silent auction. Proceeds benefit Routt Powder Riders and Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

— Next time you click into skis, take face shots and float on powder, thank Shane McConkey.

As much as the legendary skier was known for his role in extreme movies, he's equally respected and revered in the industry for his design acumen.

McConkey often is known as the godfather of rocker design skis after first mounting bindings on water skis.

"He was always questioning things, and that's a rare thing in our industry," said Mike Martin, founder of the Steamboat Mountain Film Festival. "A lot of athletes were scared of speaking up. He was always willing to try different things."

McConkey died in 2009 while skiing in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy after trying to perform a double backflip. He struggled to get his skis off before pulling his parachute cord, and by the time he did, he was too close to the ground for his parachute to do any good.

The critically acclaimed documentary "McConkey" plays as part of a double feature Friday at the Chief Theater. Sherpas Cinema's two-year project "Into the Mind" also will play.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. "Into the Mind" will begin at 7:30 p.m. with "McConkey" showing at 9 p.m. The cost is $15. Tickets are available at Ski Haus or by clicking here.

"I'm ecstatic," Martin said. "I've previewed the films, and they are both excellent. They definitely exceeded my expectations."

"Into the Mind" shows footage from Alaska, Bolivia and the Himalayas, among other areas, with a story that weighs risk versus reward.

The "McConkey" documentary looks at McConkey's life and delves into his background of base jumping.

"Just look at the longevity of his career," Martin said. "He was in his 40s and still in movies. That's great from a motivation standpoint. You can change the norms of what can be done on a pair of skis and in life for that matter."

The film festival continues Dec. 6 at Colorado Mountain College with the Reel Awards, which showcase local and national films. The winner will be announced that night. To vote for or see trailers of the films that have been entered, click here. Voting ends Dec. 5.

"It was a good year," Martin said. "Despite last year being a lower snow year, we got a lot of good footage."

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham